Sunday 22nd September 2019

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘nickel’

International Montoro Resources employs high-tech analysis of Elliot Lake-region nickel-copper prospect

September 10th, 2019

by Greg Klein | September 10, 2019

A geophysical analysis on the property released last March found targets described as “good candidates for semi-massive nickel-copper mineralization.” Now International Montoro Resources TSXV:IMT has contracted Mira Geoscience to compile and analyze a much larger data set for the Pecors Lake project, part of the 1,840-hectare Serpent River property in Ontario’s Elliot Lake district.

International Montoro Resources employs high-tech analysis of Elliot Lake-region nickel-copper prospect

Nickel-copper potential brings new interest to
International Montoro Resources’ Serpent River property.

Historic drilling on Serpent’s southwestern area found uranium-rare earths mineralization. But extensive geophysical programs completed last year alerted Montoro to nickel-copper-PGE potential as well. A 3D model revealed that three assumed magnetic anomalies at Pecors actually comprise one contiguous anomaly estimated to be five kilometres long, two kilometres wide and two kilometres deep.

Considered pioneers of advanced geological and geophysical 3D and 4D modelling, Mira Geoscience will enter a library of data into its Geoscience Analyst 3D interactive platform. Included will be Ontario Geological Survey geochem and petrographic studies; OGSEarth data from drilling conducted by Teck Resources TSX:TECK.A/TSX:TECK.B, Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO, BHP Billiton NYSE:BHPand others on or near the property; federal government regional gravity and magnetic surveys; Montoro’s 22 drill holes; and downhole EM data for two holes reaching depths of one and 1.3 kilometres respectively.

In central British Columbia, Montoro had a 43-101 technical study completed in April for its recently acquired Wicheeda North property, adjacent to the Wicheeda rare earths deposit currently being drilled by Defense Metals TSXV:DEFN under option from Spectrum Mining. The report states that Wicheeda North “has the potential to host, and should continue to be explored for, rare earth element mineralization because it occurs within a favourable geological belt known to contain carbonatite-hosted REE mineralization.”

A 3D magnetic inversion was completed in June for the property, which Montoro has expanded to 2,138 hectares.

The company’s portfolio also includes the 2,300-hectare Duhamel property in central Quebec, considered prospective for nickel-copper-cobalt, as well as titanium-vanadium-chromium.

Along with Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA, Montoro shares 50/50 ownership of two uranium properties in northern Saskatchewan’s Uranium City area.

Last month Montoro closed a private placement first tranche of $47,500.

Ontario plans direct talks with first nations on Ring of Fire

August 27th, 2019

by Greg Klein | August 27, 2019

Coming well over a year after Doug Ford vowed to drive a bulldozer himself if necessary to start Ring of Fire development, the announcement sounded anti-climactic. But before getting machinery on the ground you need signatures on paper, implied Greg Rickford. Speaking in Sault Ste. Marie on August 27, Ontario’s mines and indigenous affairs minister promised “a new, pragmatic approach to unlocking the Ring of Fire’s potential, one that includes working directly with First Nation partners who want to move at the speed of business, to ensure sustainable development.”

Ontario plans direct First Nations negotiations on Ring of Fire

As other companies left the region in frustration,
Noront Resources expanded its Ring of Fire portfolio.

His official announcement lacked details but Rickford did tell local media he hopes native bands will sign agreements on a north-south road this fall, the Sault Star reported. One community enthusiastic about the proposal was Marten Falls. In a joint statement with Noront Resources TSXV:NOT, the first nation called the proposal “an unprecedented opportunity to transform our socio-economic future. The youth of Marten Falls look toward the Ring of Fire as a generational opportunity that can provide training, employment, business prospects, new revenue for social services and many other opportunities—direct and indirect—for the province. Without the Ring of Fire, economic prosperity for our communities will remain a pipe dream.”

With support from Noront, Marten Falls currently has its own environmental assessment underway for a potential road connecting with the highway about 280 kilometres south. Marten Falls’ ancestral territories cover most of the region’s known deposits, Republic of Mining editor Stan Sudol has pointed out. But other parts of the region sit on land traditionally used by the Webequie and Attawapiskat first nations.

In a thorough analysis published during the Ontario election, Sudol noted that the proposed road could impact a number of small communities: Webequie (with an on-reserve population of 850 people), Nibinamik (400), Neskantaga (250) and Eabametoong (1,500), as well as Marten Falls (400). 

Marten Falls and Noront pledged that they “will continue to engage the additional First Nations communities that are committed to developing the Ring of Fire and its associated infrastructure.”

Noront holds about 85% of the region’s claims, including seven deposits with resource estimates. One of three advanced-stage projects is Eagle’s Nest, described as among the world’s largest undeveloped high-grade nickel sulphide deposits and subject of a 2012 feasibility study.

Rickford called the Ring of Fire “one of the most promising mineral development opportunities in over a century with the potential to sustain up to 5,500 jobs annually across Ontario within the first 10 years of development.”

Read Stan Sudol’s commentary on the Ring of Fire and northern Ontario.

Site visits for sightseers III

July 26th, 2019

Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

by Greg Klein

Small local museums, historic mines, a major science centre and massive operations demonstrate the industry’s importance and also offer diversions for summer road trips. After covering Yukon and British Columbia in Part 1 and the prairie provinces in Part 2, our survey continues east through Ontario and Quebec. Omitted were museums not primarily devoted to mining, although many do include worthwhile mining memorabilia among other exhibits. Be sure to contact sites to confirm opening times, ask about footwear and other clothing requirements, and inquire about age restrictions if you have little ones in tow.

Part 4 covers the Atlantic provinces.

Ontario

Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

One of many Dynamic Earth attractions
makes mining a family experience.
(Photo: Science North/Dynamic Earth)

Where better than Sudbury for a mining showcase of global stature? Dynamic Earth visitors can don hard hats to tour a demonstration mine seven storeys below surface, or virtual reality headsets to mingle with imaginary miners and gargantuan equipment. Other simulations provide aspiring miners with training on mining equipment and rescue operations. Films, multimedia and interactive exhibits enhance the experience. Much more than a museum, this is an exposition of mining’s past, present and future, with enough attractions to justify repeat visits.

Located at 122 Big Nickel Road, Sudbury. Open daily 10:00 to 6:00 until September 2, then reduced hours until September 29. Reopens for Halloween events on October 4

 

Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

Cobalt’s silver heritage comes alive in the Colonial Adit Tour.
(Photo: Town of Cobalt)

Despite the recent speculative boom sparked by the town’s namesake mineral, Cobalt’s largely a relic of the past—or a collection of relics strewn about the town and surrounding countryside. And it was silver, not cobalt, that made this town so important to Canadian mining history. To experience that history, check out the Cobalt Mining Museum, with seven galleries that include the world’s largest display of native silver. Take a guided tour of the Colonial underground mine, and self-guided tours that show off a nearby route hosting 19 mining-related sites and the town itself, which sometimes looks like a movie setting in search of a movie.

Located at 24 Silver Street, Cobalt. Open daily 10:00 to 4:00 until September 2, then Tuesday to Friday 11:00 to 3:00 during fall and winter. Call 705-679-8301 to book the one-hour Colonial Adit Tour.

 

Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

Visitors find themselves engrossed in Red Lake’s mining story.
(Photo: Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre)

After the 1926 rush that spawned something like 29 mines, the town’s still churning out yellow metal at one of Canada’s largest gold operations. In recognition, the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre’s permanent exhibit presents Beneath It All: Red Lake’s Mining Story, with displays, films and audio clips.

Located at 51A Highway #105, Red Lake. Open Monday to Friday 9:00 to 5:00 year-round, also open summer Saturdays 10:00 to 4:00 until August 31.

 

Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

A former mica mine, Silver Queen can evoke a sense of wonder.
(Photo: Ontario Parks)

About 115 crow-flying klicks southwest of Ottawa, the Silver Queen Mine was one of hundreds of operations in a world centre of mica production. Visitors to Murphys Point Provincial Park can descend 20 metres underground and also check out an open pit on either guided or self-guided trips.

Tours leave from the Lally Homestead at Murphys Point, off Highway #21. Guided trips take place Wednesday evenings at 8:30 p.m. and Friday mornings at 10:00 a.m., self-guided tours from 10:00 a.m. to noon on Sundays until September 1. Call 613-267-5060 for reservations, fall hours and other info.

 

Quebec

Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

Tourists explore Lamaque’s birthplace in the valley of gold.
(Photo: Corporation du Village minier de Bourlamaque)

This might be the best place to begin an historical pilgrimage to Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Just over a kilometre southwest of Eldorado Gold’s Lamaque and on the eastern edge of Val-d’Or sits la Cité de l’Or, with the original Lamaque mine and Bourlamaque Mining Village. A four-hour tour takes visitors 91 metres underground before viewing a number of surface buildings, while an express two-hour tour explores the underground mine and a laboratory. An audio guide tour also covers the town, with still-occupied 1930s to ’40s-era log houses and a 1949 home-turned-museum. La Cité also offers Gold in our Veins, a permanent exhibit about mining life and, en français seulement, a geocaching rally.

Located at 90 avenue Perrault, Val-d’Or. Open daily 8:00 to 5:30 to August 31, Wednesday to Sunday 8:30 to 5:00 in September, Thursday to Sunday 8:30 to 3:00 in October. Phone to inquire about off-season visits from November to May. Call 819-825-1274 or toll-free 1-855-825-1274 for tour reservations and other info.

 

Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

Malartic’s sheer scale can be appreciated from an observation deck.
(Photo: Abitibi-Témiscamingue Mineralogical Museum)

Twenty-five kilometres west of Val-d’Or, the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Mineralogical Museum offers displays about regional geology and mining, and interactive exhibits as well as tours to one of the world’s largest gold producers, the Agnico Eagle/Yamana Gold Canadian Malartic mine, a technological marvel with some really big machines rumbling around.

Located at 650 rue de la Paix, Malartic. Open Tuesday to Sunday until September. Call 819-757-4677 for opening hours and reservations.

 

Watch as molten copper flows at Glencore’s Horne smelter in Rouyn-Noranda. Guides lead visitors through a museum and into the heart of one of the world’s most specialized plants.

Located at 1 Carter Avenue, Rouyn-Noranda. Tours begin Monday to Sunday at 9:00, 10:30, 1:30 and 3:00 until mid-August. Call 819-797-3195 or 1-888-797-3195 for reservations. Not suitable for pregnant women.

 

Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

Visitors get in the spirit at Thetford Mines.
(Photo: Musée minéralogique et minier de Thetford Mines)

About 107 kilometres south of Quebec City in a building sheathed with an asbestos-cement coating, le Musée minéralogique et minier de Thetford Mines depicts the history, geology and mineralogy of an area where mining began in 1876. Tours take visitors around buildings, open pits and mountains of tailings left over from the now-banned practice of asbestos extraction.

Located at 711 Frontenac Boulevard West (Highway #112), Thetford Mines. Open daily 9:00 to 5:00 to September 2, off season Tuesday to Friday 9:00 to 4:00, weekends 1:00 to 5:00. Summer mine tours begin at 1:30. Call 418-335-2123 for reservations.

 

One of three nearby former copper producers in the Eastern Townships, the Capelton Mine welcomes visitors to an operation that lasted from 1863 to 1907. One tour travels by wagon to the mine entrance, another offers a gold panning experience. Additional attractions include a small museum and a bike path through the mine site.

Located at 5800 Capelton Road (Highway #108), North Hatley. Call 819-346-9545 or 1-888-346-9545 for reservations.

See Part 1 about Yukon and British Columbia, Part 2 about the prairie provinces and Part 4 about the Atlantic provinces.

Update: Saville Resources/Commerce Resources hit more near-surface, high-grade niobium, with tantalum and phosphate in Quebec

June 6th, 2019

This story has been expanded and moved here.

Saville Resources/Commerce Resources hit near-surface niobium high grades, with tantalum and phosphate in Quebec

June 3rd, 2019

This story has been updated and moved here.

Infographic: Visualizing copper’s role in the transition to clean energy

May 28th, 2019

by Nicholas LePan | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | May 28, 2019

A future powered by renewables is not on the distant horizon, but is rather in its early hours.

This new dawn comes from a global awareness of the environmental impacts of the current energy mix, which relies heavily on fossil fuels and their associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Technologies such as wind, solar and batteries offer renewable and clean alternatives, and are leading the way for the transition to clean energy. However, as with every energy transition, there are not only new technologies, but also new material demands.

Copper: A key piece of the puzzle

This energy transition will be mineral-intensive and it will require metals such as nickel, lithium and cobalt. However one metal stands out as being particularly important, and that is copper.

This infographic comes to us from the Copper Development Association and outlines the special role of copper in renewable power generation, energy storage and electric vehicles.

Visualizing copper’s role in the transition to clean energy

 

Why copper?

The red metal has four key properties that make it ideal for the clean energy transition.

1. Conductivity

2. Ductility

3. Efficiency

4. Recyclability

It is these properties that make copper the critical material for wind and solar technology, energy storage and electric vehicles.

These properties also explain why, according to ThinkCopper, solar- and wind-generated electricity uses four to six times more copper than electricity from fossil fuel sources.

Copper in wind

A three-megawatt wind turbine can contain up to 4.7 tons of copper with 53% of that demand coming from the cable and wiring, 24% from the turbine/power generation components, 4% from transformers and 19% from turbine transformers.

The use of copper significantly increases when going offshore. Onshore wind farms use approximately 7,766 pounds of copper per MW, while an offshore wind installation uses 21,068 pounds of copper per MW.

It is the cabling of the offshore wind farms to connect them to each other and to deliver the power that accounts for the bulk of the copper usage.

Copper in solar

Solar power systems can contain approximately 5.5 tons of copper per MW. Copper is in the heat exchangers of solar thermal units as well as in the wiring and cabling that transmits the electricity in photo-voltaic solar cells.

Navigant Research projects that 262 GW of new solar installations between 2018 and 2027 in North America will require 1.9 billion pounds of copper.

Copper in energy storage

There are many ways to store energy, but every method uses copper. For example, a lithium-ion battery contains 440 pounds of copper per MW and a flow battery 540 pounds of copper per MW.

Copper wiring and cabling connects renewable power generation with energy storage, while the copper in the switches of transformers helps deliver power at the right voltage.

Across the United States, a total of 5,752 MW of energy capacity has been announced and commissioned.

Copper in electric vehicles

Copper is at the heart of the electric vehicle. This is because EVs rely on copper for the motor coil that drives the engine.

The more electric the car, the more copper it needs; a car powered by an internal combustion engine contains roughly 48 pounds, a hybrid needs 88 pounds and a battery electric vehicle uses 184 pounds.

Additionally, the cabling for charging stations of electric vehicles will be another source of copper demand.

The copper future

Advances in technologies create new material demands.

Therefore it shouldn’t be surprising that the transition to renewables is going to create demand for many minerals—and copper is going to be a critical mineral for the new era of energy.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Ever unconventional

May 24th, 2019

Rick Rule might be even more contrarian than you thought

by Greg Klein

Not for the faint-hearted, resource stocks hardly suit reckless investors either. Rick Rule’s long and successful career in this volatile world likely stems from shrewd insight borne of a non-conformist outlook. The president/CEO of Sprott U.S. Holdings took time to talk with ResourceClips.com about his favourite commodities, mining management, trade wars and critical minerals as well as—if only to demonstrate the principle of enlightened self-interest—the Sprott Natural Resource Symposium returning to Vancouver from July 29 to August 2.

As miners and manufacturers struggle to secure adequate supplies of essential minerals, does he still see justification for gold’s special status?

Rick Rule might be even more contrarian than you thought

“I do,” he replies. “I think gold has a special place of its own among metals in the investment universe in that, while it has fabrication value in things like jewelry, iconography and electronics, it is also simultaneously a unit of exchange and a store of value.

“It is also a metal that attracts a certain class of equity investors precisely because of its volatility, and what that means is that people who have a reputation for being able to either find or produce gold more efficiently than their competitors have the lowest cost of capital of any entrepreneurs in the mining business. So I would suggest that precious metals are unique in the mining space.”

What other metals interest him?

“Well the truth is I’m agnostic as to how I make my money. But traditionally two commodities, iron and copper, have been unusually profitable, although they’re usually the domains of the big mining companies. Iron doesn’t occupy a very large part of the exploration space. What are particularly attractive to me right now are commodities that are so deeply out of favour that, on a global basis, the cost to produce them exceeds the price that they sell for, implying industries that are ostensibly in liquidation. So minerals that especially attract me at present are nickel, zinc, copper and in particular uranium.

“Having said that, Sprott will back a top-quality management team, or will finance what appears to be potentially a Tier I asset, irrespective of commodity.”

Speaking of mining management, that’s a subject he’s previously lambasted with scathing comments. Does he see the problem as unique to mining?

Rick Rule might be even more contrarian than you thought

Rick Rule:
An insider with an outsider’s perspective.

“I’ve spent 40 years in extractive industries and don’t have experience in other industries, so I don’t know how widespread the problem is in other places. I do know that in one study, a young Sprott intern pulled at random financial statements and income statements over I believe five years from 25 junior miners. The median expenditure on general and administrative expenses exceeded 65% of capital raised. That’s not the prescription for a successful industry.

“It’s worth noting that in joint ventures that we’ve observed where a major mining company is earning into an exploration project operated by a junior, the median general and administrative expenses allowed as a percentage of total expenditures is 12%. So that would suggest that the junior public company format is inefficient.

“Now it bears noting that the junior mining industry has been enormously profitable to me personally and also to Sprott. And the conclusion that one has to draw is that functionally all of the value delivered over time by the junior mining industry is delivered by a fairly small number of teams. I would argue that less than 5% of the management teams in the business generate well in excess of 50% of the value created. Their contributions are so valuable that they add legitimacy and sometimes even lustre to a sector that overall has a very poor track record.”

Rule applies his contrarianism to trade wars and legislated efforts to secure critical minerals. He opposes government intervention and considers the U.S.-China dispute unnecessary.

“I believe that tariffs are an indirect form of tax and that protectionism ultimately backfires on the protector by making him or her less efficient. Now having said that, with regards to the Section 232 review of uranium, I would personally be a beneficiary of any action that Trump took. So it would be bad for the United States of America and good for me. I’m an unalloyed believer in free trade and free investment. To benefit a small number of claimants at the expense of a market is, I think, very bad policy.”

While many observers fear the trade war will provoke a second Senkaku with China manipulating its rare earths dominance, Rule thinks the gambit would rebound to the benefit of non-Chinese producers.

If the Chinese decided to obviate their competitive advantage with some stupid political ploy, they would find themselves with a much smaller proportion of the global market.

“If the Chinese decided to obviate their competitive advantage with some stupid political ploy, they would find themselves with a much smaller proportion of the global market. So I’m unconcerned about access to those so-called critical metals.”

Meanwhile he thinks the trade war “is political posturing and it is clientelist in the most pernicious sense, seeking to benefit a few interests who might be big campaign contributors at the expense of markets and consumers.”

Does he think the Sino-American conflict will have long-lasting effects?

“I’m not a political analyst, but I hope this is a circumstance where Xi benefits by looking tough to a domestic political constituency and Trump does the same, and nothing much comes of it. My hope is this is just populist puffery on behalf of both executives.

“At least in my lifetime, every tariff that has ever existed is a euphemism for a tax, and has served no useful purpose and in fact has been destructive to global trade and to the nation imposing the tariff. Similarly, so-called free trade agreements are really political pacts that may serve a political purpose for a favoured few. But the truth is, a free trade agreement could be written on one piece of paper. You could say: There will be no legal impediments between the voluntary buying and selling of any willing parties. Period.

“Instead, NAFTA was 3,600 pages.”

Among the challenges facing junior mining is powerful competition from cannabis stocks. Does he see that as a short-term trend?

“Yeah, I do. I think the cannabis craze will wear itself out the same way any other craze does. I don’t know that the hot money necessarily will move back to mining until after it isn’t needed anymore. Frankly I welcome the move of hot money, dumb money, out of mining and into crypto and cannabis. The mining business has been over-funded and the subject of unrealistic expectations for 30 years to the extent that the industry went on a forced diet for a while, a lot of issuers failed and rational expectations returned to the space. I think that would be a very good thing.

I’m also delighted frankly that in places like Vancouver and Los Angeles management teams that were formally in mining have moved on to substances that they’re interested in and familiar with, like cannabis. If you live in Vancouver, it’s very clear that due diligence is conducted nightly on most street corners downtown.

“I’m also delighted frankly that in places like Vancouver and Los Angeles management teams that were formally in mining have moved on to substances that they’re interested in and familiar with, like cannabis. If you live in Vancouver, it’s very clear that due diligence is conducted nightly on most street corners downtown.”

And speaking of Vancouver, what’s Rule got to say about Sprott’s upcoming event?

“We hope to deliver the best possible experience that we can, all the way from big picture commentators like Danielle DiMartino Booth, Nomi Prins, Jim Rickards and Doug Casey, but also including really interesting industry participants. One of the things we’ve been doing for 25 years is we have always made room for speakers who are active in the mining business today after building billion-dollar companies from scratch. This is important because they talk not just about mining but also how the lessons they learned building their companies impact the way they invest their own money, and the way that speculators should invest theirs. Further, unlike any other conference I know, an exhibitor has to be owned in a Sprott-managed account. Our attendees have told us our exhibitors are not from their point of view mere advertisers, but rather they’re content too.

“Finally, while most resource-oriented conferences have shrunk demonstrably in size over the last four or five years, ours has grown every year. One of the benefits investors get attending our conference is that they do so in the company of 700 of their peers, high net worth investors who have been successful in natural resources. And there is a lot to be gained not merely from the dais or the exhibit hall, but also from talking to other experienced, successful and battle-scarred speculators and investors.”

Rick Rule hosts the Sprott Natural Resource Symposium in Vancouver from July 29 to August 2. Click here for more information.

A Capitol idea

May 7th, 2019

This U.S. bipartisan bill aims to reduce America’s critical minerals dependency

 

This won’t be the first time Washington has seen such a proposal. Announced last week, the American Mineral Security Act encourages the development of domestic resources and supply chains to produce minerals considered essential to the country’s well-being. But the chief backer, Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, acknowledges having introduced similar standalone legislation previously, as well as addressing the topic in a previous energy bill.

A U.S. bipartisan bill would reduce America’s critical minerals dependency

This time, however, the proposal takes place amid growing concern. In late 2017, following a U.S. Geological Survey report that provided the first comprehensive review of the subject since 1973, President Donald Trump called for a “federal strategy to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals.” In early 2018 the U.S. Department of the Interior formally classified 35 minerals as critical. A September 2018 report responded to the presidential order, urging programs to address supply chain challenges that leave the U.S. relying heavily on countries like Russia and especially China.

Even so, Murkowski and the other three senators think Washington needs a little push.

“I greatly appreciate the administration’s actions to address this issue but congress needs to complement them with legislation,” she said. “Our bill takes steps that are long overdue to reverse our damaging foreign dependence and position ourselves to compete in growth industries like electric vehicles and energy storage.”

The senators referred to USGS data from 2018 showing 48 minerals for which their country imported at least 50% of supply. Foreign dependency accounted for 100% of 18 of them, including rare earths, graphite and indium.  

Focusing on energy minerals, Simon Moores of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence lauded the bipartisan group for addressing “a global battery arms race that is intensifying.

“Lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel are the key enablers of the lithium-ion battery and, in turn, the lithium-ion battery is the key enabler of the energy storage revolution. Globally they are facing a wall of demand, especially from electric vehicles. Yet the U.S. has been a bystander in building a domestic supply chain capacity.

“Right now, the U.S. produces 1% of global lithium supply and only 7% of refined lithium chemical supply, while China produces 51%. For cobalt, the U.S. has zero mining capacity and zero chemicals capacity whilst China controls 80% of this [at] second stage.

These supply chains are the oil pipelines of tomorrow. The lithium-ion battery is to the 21st century what the oil barrel was to the 20th century.—Simon Moores
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

“Graphite is the most extreme example with no flake graphite mining and anode production compared to China’s 51% and 100% of the world’s total, respectively. And it’s a similar story with nickel—under 1% mined in the U.S. and zero capacity for nickel sulfate.

“These supply chains are the oil pipelines of tomorrow,” Moores emphasized. “The lithium-ion battery is to the 21st century what the oil barrel was to the 20th century.”

Looking at another critical mineral, the White House has until mid-July to respond to a U.S. Department of Commerce report on the effects of uranium imports to American national security. According to the USGS, the fuel provides 20% of the country’s electricity but the U.S. relies on imports for over 95% of supply.

A recent book by Ned Mamula and Ann Bridges points to rare earths as the “poster child for U.S. critical mineral vulnerability.” In Groundbreaking! America’s New Quest for Mineral Independence, the authors say REs remain “essential for military and civilian use, for the production of high-performance permanent magnets, GPS guidance systems, satellite imaging and night vision equipment, cellphones, iPads, flat screens, MRIs and electric toothbrushes, sunglasses, and a myriad of other technology products. Since they offer that extra boost to so many new technologies, these rare earth metals rival energy in importance to our 21st century lifestyle.”

Among the proposed act’s provisions are:

  • an updated list of critical minerals every three years

  • nationwide resource assessments for every critical mineral

  • “practical, common-sense” reforms to reduce permitting delays

  • R&D into recycling, replacing and processing critical minerals

  • a study of the country’s minerals workforce by the U.S. Secretary of Labor, National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation

The senators made their announcement at Benchmark Minerals Summit 2019, a private event for industry and U.S. government representatives. In a February presentation to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources chaired by Murkowski, Moores issued a “red alert on the lithium-ion battery supply chain and the raw materials of lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite.”

Read more about U.S. efforts to secure critical minerals here and here.

Saville Resources reports favourable geology, plans Phase II drilling at Quebec niobium-tantalum project

April 29th, 2019

by Greg Klein | April 29, 2019

Assays are pending but the first drill program since 2010 has Saville Resources TSXV:SRE optimistic about results. With five holes totalling 1,049 metres, the season devoted four holes to the Mallard target in the property’s southeastern area. Historic, non-43-101 results from Mallard’s previous campaign brought near-surface high grades that included:

  • 0.82% Nb2O5 over 21.89 metres, starting at 58.93 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.72% over 21.35 metres, starting at 4.22 metres
  • (including 0.9% over 4.78 metres)
Saville Resources reports favourable geology, plans Phase II drilling at Quebec niobium-tantalum project

A spring campaign under winter conditions
comprised the project’s first drill program since 2010.

True widths were unknown.

The spring campaign sunk an additional hole 60 metres from another location of high-grade, near-surface results that included an historic, non-43-101 interval of 0.71% Nb2O5 over 15.33 metres, starting at 55.1 metres. The new hole tested the intercept down-dip as well as the strike extension of the main mineralized zone.

“In each hole, favourable rock types and coarse-grained pyrochlore mineralization were visually identified over varying widths and concentrations,” the company stated. “Portable XRF data and detailed geological logging further support these observations.”

Saville plans further drilling at Mallard, as well as Miranna and several other targets, to build a 43-101 resource estimate. Previous boulder samples from Mallard include an exceptional 5.93% Nb2O5, as well as 2.75%, 4.24% and 4.3% Nb2O5. Tantalum samples from the area reached up to 1,040, 1,060 and 1,220 Ta2O5.

Work on the 1,223-hectare Niobium Claim Group takes place under a 75% earn-in from Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE, whose Ashram rare earths deposit a few kilometres away moves towards pre-feasibility.

In early April Saville released assays from last year’s campaign on the Bud property in southern British Columbia’s historic Greenwood mining camp, with samples reaching as high as 4.57 g/t gold, 27.7 g/t silver and 6.7% copper.

A private placement first tranche that closed in December brought Saville $311,919. In March the company optioned its James Bay-region Covette nickel-copper-cobalt property to Astorius Resources TSXV:ASQ. A 100% fulfillment would bring Saville $1.25 million over three years, with Astorius spending another $300,000 on exploration within two years. Saville retains a 2% NSR.

Read more about Saville Resources.

Saville Resources begins niobium-tantalum drilling in Quebec

March 25th, 2019

by Greg Klein | March 25, 2019

The search for critical minerals on the Labrador Trough’s Quebec side continues as Saville Resources TSXV:SRE puts a rig to work on the Niobium Claim Group property this week. A Phase I program of at least four holes totalling a minimum 700 metres will target an area that—despite encouraging historic assays—hasn’t been drilled since 2010.

Saville currently works on a 75% earn-in on the 1,223-hectare property from Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE, whose Ashram rare earths deposit a few kilometres away advances towards pre-feasibility.

Saville Resources begins niobium-tantalum drilling in Quebec

Saville’s focus will be the Mallard target, previously known as the Southeast target. Location of the most extensive work so far, Mallard underwent nine holes totalling 2,490 metres, with EC10-033 featuring impressive, near-surface intervals in these historic, non-43-101 results:

  • 0.82% Nb2O5 over 21.89 metres, starting at 58.93 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.72% over 21.35 metres, starting at 4.22 metres
  • (including 0.9% over 4.78 metres)

True widths were unknown.

The current program will test the hole’s southeastern extension. “Strong mineralization has been returned at this target historically and confirming and extending this trend is a logical next step as we advance towards an initial mineral resource estimate,” said president Mike Hodge.

A Phase II campaign would continue at Mallard as well as other targets including Miranna, an undrilled area where boulder samples reached as high as 2.75%, 4.24% and 4.3% Nb2O5, along with an outstanding 5.93% Nb2O5. Miranna’s tantalum samples graded up to 1,040, 1,060 and 1,220 Ta2O5.

The company expects Phase I to wrap up in about a month.

Both niobium and tantalum have been classified as critical minerals by the U.S. government. Used in steel and superalloy production, 88% of world niobium supply comes from Brazil, according to 2018 data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Sixty-six percent of global tantalum supply, necessary for automotive electronics, cellphones and computers, came from the strife-torn countries of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the USGS reported. Additional concerns involve opaque supply lines that can mask conflict sources in those countries.

In late December Saville closed a private placement first tranche of $311,919. Earlier this month the company optioned its James Bay-region Covette nickel-copper-cobalt property to Astorius Resources TSXV:ASQ . A 100% fulfillment would bring Saville $1.25 million over three years, while Astorius would spend another $300,000 on the project within two years. Saville retains a 2% NSR.

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